Age discrimination in employment is a very real problem. In 2017, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) processed 18,376 charges alleging age discrimination. These charges represent 21.8% of the total number of employment discrimination and retaliation charges processed by the EEOC. As a Milwaukee Employment Attorney, I suspect that these statistics do not do justice to the pervasiveness of age discrimination in the workplace as compared to other types of discrimination (gender/sex discrimination, disability discrimination, race discrimination, ethnicity discrimination) employers are quite savvy in avoiding age discrimination claims. One method employers use to avoid age discrimination claims is the use of Severance Agreements, Separation Agreements or Early Retirement Benefits. In fact, in 1990 Congress passed the Older Worker Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) which amended the Age Discrimination In Employment Act (ADEA) to protect older workers from being coerced into releasing valuable age discrimination claims.
The following are 5 signs of age discrimination in the workplace.
5. Stagnant Career Advancement
If you are being passed over for promotions by significantly younger employees who are less qualified than you, you might be a victim of age discrimination.
4. Poor Treatment
If you stop getting raises, are receiving the worst work assignments, excluded from meetings, are treated rudely, or isolated socially you might be the victim of age discrimination.
3. Performance Issues
If your job performance is suddenly criticized, you receive negative performance evaluations or are put on a Performance Improvement Plan, you might be the victim of age discrimination.
2. Comments Relating to Age
If you are questioned about your retirement plans or if your supervisor makes comments related to your age, you may be the victim of age discrimination. For example, referring to you as a “dinosaur,” “old man,” or are “set in your ways” can be seen as direct evidence of a discriminatory animus. Further, seeming innocuous or joking comments relating to your age such as may occur during a birthday celebration or becoming a grandparent may also demonstrate a discriminatory animus. Conversely, comments about needing “fresh blood,” “energetic” employees may be code words for a discriminatory animus against older employees.
1. Replacing Older Workers
If the company is “downsizing,” “restructuring,” “eliminating positions,” offering early retirement, buy-outs, severance agreements or terminating older workers for vague or subjective reasons and replacing them with younger workers, age discrimination may be afoot.
Older workers need to be vigilant for the signs of age discrimination and document anything that may demonstrate that they are being treated differently on the basis of their age. If you believe you are the victim of age discrimination in the workplace contact Carroll Law Firm, SC, a Milwaukee Age Discrimination Law Firm that will work tirelessly to advocate for your employee rights.
Carroll Law Firm is a Milwaukee Employment Law Firm that zealously represents employees, professionals and executives in a myriad of employment law matters including age discrimination, review and negotiation of severance agreements, challenging non-compete agreements, employment discrimination, sex discrimination, age discrimination, disability discrimination, race discrimination, ethnicity discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation.